Review: Gonzo

Will Bingley and Anthony Hope-Smith call their Gonzo graphic novel a graphic biography of Hunter S. Thompson, but I see it as more a supplement for other reading on Thompson.  They seem to assume that the reader knows who he is and why he is an important – or at least interesting – man in American letters.  I have long been a fan of Thompson, so I may well be the target audience.

To their credit, they illuminate Thompson from some unusual angles.  Their vision of Thompson is a more calculating and clear-eyed writer and journalist than most biographers.  It seems that Thompson did care about and groom his legacy, but I am not sure that he was thinking about the big picture of his legacy at the time he was writing his early works.  It definitely will prompt me to reread some of the other biographies with that in mind.

Graphically, I think the art matches the tone.  The lines are clean and dramatic with a clarity that mirrors Thompson’s clear eyes throughout.  There’s a certain amount of Darrick Robertson’s Spider Jerusalem in their Hunter Thompson, which is to be expected.  Jerusalem is partially a Thompson pastiche, but one gets the feeling that Robertson’s influence is also present.  The effects are strong, regardless of the sources.

Recommended for Thompson fans.

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